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<p>As financial institutions evaluate the service that they provide to the consumer there is increasing awareness of the complicated nature of the multi-channel delivery system that has evolved over recent years. Consumers want appropriate financial service when it is most convenient to them, and they expect the level of service that they receive to be consistent regardless of their channel preference. Therefore, it is important to identify some of the primary areas of interest when marketing, self-service delivery and members collide. Internet-enabled ATMs, and check cashing as well as one-to-one marketing and advertising via the ATM are all growing areas of interest for financial institutions as a way to improve their consumer touch points as well as generate revenue. Internet technologies permeate nearly every aspect of our lives today, and Internet-enabled ATMs are now poised to play an increasingly important role in a successfully integrated delivery system. For decades financial institutions had a single delivery channel – the branch. The ATM added a new delivery channel followed quickly by telephone centers and now Internet access to financial accounts. The good news is that consumers now have multiple avenues for transacting business with a financial institution. Unfortunately, financial institutions are now maintaining multiple channels that may look totally different to the member, delivering various levels of service. Financial institutions have sought the solution for integrating those channels, providing a consistent look and feel to the consumer. They struggle with the necessity of developing a new product release over multiple channels. Systems used for one channel do not apply to the other. The associated cost in time and dollars for the development effort has been a burden. Nothing has satisfactorily addressed the issue of channel integration until the advent of the Internet-enabled ATM. Utilizing Internet technologies, platform teller systems, phone centers, ATMs and the Internet can all contain the same content formatted in a way that is appropriate to that channel. Once an ATM is Internet-enabled, the consumer has access to virtually any functionality there that an institution chooses to make available. While some things such as account information and online bill payment may be desirable additions to the traditional ATM service, other functionality such as loan application may be better suited to a kiosk environment. Additional functionality can include the ability to book and pay for airline or movie tickets or check stock prices, adding convenience for the consumer and potential revenue streams for the financial institution. These machines will also display targeted marketing messages by identifying user tendencies and providing opportunities to request information through other self-service delivery channels. With the growing usage of ATMs by the public for routine transactions the popularity of ATM check cashing has also increased. The ability to cash a check at the ATM is a functionality that has been available for several years, but has not been widely deployed by the financial services community. Financial institutions that have implemented check cashing at the ATM have found their initiative to be well worth the effort. It allows customers to cash checks to the penny, deposit checks or deposit checks with cash back. ATM users only have to slip their check into the deposit slot and let the machine do the rest. When check cashing is added to the functionality of an ATM an amazing transformation takes place – with the single addition to a financial institutions self-service offering, approximately 85% of the typical teller transactions can be automated. It makes perfect sense to market your products and services at the most frequented customer touch-points. Consequently, more financial institutions are now using their ATMs in one-to-one marketing programs. Likewise, consumer-goods advertisers are realizing the possibilities of direct marketing by wrapping ATMs with vinyl logos and banners. Target marketing has been a key phrase with the ultimate prize being marketing to a segment of one. Delivering the same message to everyone is simply a blind attempt at reaching a small audience. Technology exists today to allow institutions to leverage their self-service network and their knowledge of their consumer profile to ensure that they are sending a message that has a strong likelihood of getting the attention of the individual. Advertisements need to be interactive in nature so that they invoke a response from the consumer. Systems are developed so that a given response triggers a different message the next time a user accesses an ATM in the network and will be capable of gathering information that can be uploaded for future follow-up in another delivery channel such as the branch or phone center. Gaining interest among marketing organizations is the advertising potential of the ATM screen. This is a captive audience with ready access to cash. Advertising can be displayed on the “Welcome” screen to serve as an attraction and more effectively on the traditional “Please Wait” screen, which until now has been a wasted opportunity to communicate with the consumer. Since this form of advertising is relatively new, the value of screen time is not as well established as it is with other media such as television, radio or print. However, we have seen figures that range from $50 to $150 per screen per ATM per month. When surveyed 63 % of consumers actually view ATM advertising as providing valuable information and 51 percent think it would be enjoyable. Eventually, this will become a real-time media outlet with hundreds of thousands of ATMs connected to a satellite networks. By physically positioning a product near an ATM, advertisers increase the probability of customers purchasing their product. This is only the tip of the technology spear in a constantly changing way of interacting, communicating and marketing to the ATM customer. The first financial institutions to capitalize on this new way of marketing will have a distinct edge on their competition, not to mention satisfied members.</p>

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